Finally! A press conference where the entire cast got a memo and actually followed through on it! Instead of the sprawling cast of IRIS 2 showing up at its press conference looking like extras from the Muppets movie, everyone donned their favorite sleek, chic, black-and-white ensemble to varying degrees of success. Yes, the whole spies and baddies always wear black is beyond clichéd but the visual synchronicity of the monochrome look nevertheless adds to the dangerous and cool factor. Premiering next Wednesday on KBS (going up against That Winter, The Wind Blows and 7th Level Civil Servant), IRIS 2 is the swaggering big kid on the block what with the success of IRIS and the star-packed line up of this direct sequel. Jang Hyuk and Lee Da Hae are NSS agents, Lee Bum Soo is a North Korean spy, Oh Yoon Soo is the head of NSS, Im Soo Hyang is the younger sister of Kim So Yeon’s character from IRIS and also a North Korean agent, Kim Young Chul reprises his role from IRIS as the big bad (with a cameo by Jung Seok Won as his younger self), Yoon So Yi joins as a South Korean-turned-North Korean agent under Lee Bum Soo, and young stars like Yoon Doo Joon, Lee Joon, and Baek Sung Hyun play younger NSS agents.
Whew, even a recitation of the cast is like one huge run-on sentence or trying to talk without taking a breath for 2 minutes. Will this be good? Action sequence wise, likely a yes, since IRIS did up the quality for action K-dramas and IRIS 2 looks to take that even further. Will the acting be good? With Jang Hyuk, Lee Bum Soo, Oh Yoon Soo, and Kim Young Chul around? Oh hells yeah. Will the story be coherent and compelling? That’s the big what-if for me. Lately almost every drama hinges on the narrative as the directing and acting more or less takes a back seat to whether the story flows with purpose and intelligence. IRIS was definitely light years better than the abomination of stupidity that was Athena: Goddess of War, but both eschewed depth for superficial angst and plot twists. All the trailers look fantastic but I still don’t have a sense of what the story is about other than betrayals and plotting galore. Here’s to hoping I can get onboard either IRIS 2 or That Winter, The Wind Blows, because its been months since a Wed-Thurs primetime drama hooked me. Continue reading